Quote from the "Son of a Surrogate" Blog

Quote from the "Son of a Surrogate" Blog

It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want. You can wrap it up in a silk freaking scarf. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the IM. But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. I dont care if you think I am not your child, what about what I think! Maybe I know I am your child.When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The commodification of babies

This is one of the touchiest parts of surrogacy. From most of the surrogacy boards that I’ve perused it’s an offensive notion to the surrogates that they would participate in bringing these children into the world for no compensation. I can see both sides of the coins, for women who donate eggs, their womb or both they are putting their health, lives, and heart on the line and that does seem to warrant compensation of some sort. On the other side of it those of us who were conceived via these modern techniques, there is a sense of being a commodity. We wouldn’t be here on this world if it wasn’t for the lawyers, doctors, and donors getting financially compensated.
As a product of surrogacy or sperm donation it’s not even considered a reasonable expectation that donor records are kept. If a child is adopted through a traditional adoption, it’s considered reasonable that they might want to find their biological parents to better understand themselves and find out the story as to why they were given up. Children of donation also have a lot of the same questions. I have to admit before I found my birth mom I wondered why she would have wanted to participate in surrogacy, did she need the money, what this something she felt called to do? I imagined what she looked like, did I resemble her. Due the fact that we’re created specifically to be families for other families
There have been people who’ve donated eggs who ran into health issues, who later wanted to let the agencies that they participated with know that they were at risk. They found out that there were no records to say whether or not the egg donations led to a child being born, because their donor records weren’t kept. They had no way of imparting potentially important medical information.
When you look at ads for egg donors, surrogates etc, they’re always interested in compensating people who are attractive, and intelligent the most. Not only do we get the chance to create our own children if we have even more finances we can cherry pick the most desirable traits. That aspect takes away from it being just a simple joy of bringing a child into the world. Also typically these means are only available to people who have more finances. To me personally, having the most money isn’t the most important factor in being able to parent a child.
I also believe that without the financial incentives most sperm/ egg donors, and surrogates wouldn’t participate. This all feels very cold, and very much in the best interest of the adults involved.
I wonder on occasion if people were not allowed to financially gain from these donations, if there would be more of an effort to keep in touch with the children conceived. I wonder if there would need to be a higher level of trust in the parents to be to ensure that the children are going to be in a safe, loving, nurturing environment. The way it is now you can think the doctors will run the psychological tests, there may be a home check, or we wouldn’t be here talking about donation if the prospective e parents hadn’t been cleared yet. However, I personally don’t believe it would benefit these agencies to do a thorough background check, they would be out the money if they turned families away, and if there were ever an issue with abuse or anything like that the agency isn’t really at risk of a spotlight getting turned on them, and questioning why assisted these parents in having a child. The child typically is at least ½ way related to the family that their living with. In traditional adoptions it appears that the motivation to make sure that the children are being places in happy homes appears to be higher. They would get a spotlight turned on them if they put children into dangerous homes.
There are surrogacies that take place for no financial gain, those are termed compassionate surrogacies. Typically people will do these for close friends, or family. I believe that a product of that type of conception probably would at least know they were really wanted in the world just for being themselves, not for what anyone could gain monetarily out of the situation. But what is a good answer? Is the feeling of being a commodity to prospective children o.k.? Or is it fair to say that the women who put their health on the line that they should only participate if they’re not looking to gain financially from it. I find in general the adults come first in all these considerations. If we’re bringing the children into the world why are they being considered last consistently?

1 comment:

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